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Research Articles

Floristic Richness and the Conservation Value of Tropical Humid Cloud Forests of Dothalugala Man and Biosphere Reserve, Sri Lanka

Authors:

EMS Ekanayake ,

Postgraduate Institute of Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
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DSA Wijesundara,

Royal Botanic Gardens, Peradeniya, LK
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GAD Perera

Postgraduate Institute of Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya and Department of Botany, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
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Abstract

Plant species in Dothalugala Man and Biosphere (MAB) Reserve were recorded in twenty six 10 x 15 m2 experimental plots, aiming to reveal the total species richness and, the richness of endemic and threatened plant species in the canopy and the understory of Tropical Montane Cloud Forests (TMCFs) and, to find out the impacts of cardamom cultivation on the plant diversity of the study area. One hundred and forty nine plant species (77 tree, 47 shrub, 24 climber and one herbaceous species) belonging to 106 plant genera and 54 plant families have been found from the study area. The study area possesses a high percentage endemicity of plant species (49.6%) with the presence of 74 (38 tree, 29 shrub, 6 climber and one hebaceous) species endemic to Sri Lanka. Similarly, 45 out of all plant species (30.2% species) and 45 out of all endemic species (60.7%) in these forests were either globally or nationally threatened. The endemic and ‘Critically Endangered’ dipterocarp, Stemonoporus affinis was also found in the area. Cardamom cultivation in the area had caused a tremendous reduction in the floristic diversity (species richness) and the conservation value of TMCFs in Dothalugala MAB reserve. Therefore, the cardamom cultivation and other related disturbances within or adjacent to Dothalugala MAB Reserve should be arrested for the conservation of plant diversity in this fragile and environmentally sensitive ecosystem and, this will eventually contribute towards the conservation of biodiversity not only in Sri Lanka but also in the globe as a whole.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/cjsbs.v42i2.6609

Ceylon Journal of Science (Bio. Sci.) 42(2): 55-70, 2013

DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjsbs.v42i2.6609
How to Cite: Ekanayake, E., Wijesundara, D. & Perera, G., (2014). Floristic Richness and the Conservation Value of Tropical Humid Cloud Forests of Dothalugala Man and Biosphere Reserve, Sri Lanka. Ceylon Journal of Science (Biological Sciences). 42(2), pp.55–70. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjsbs.v42i2.6609
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Published on 21 Feb 2014.
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